GHOST HUNTING: Spine-tingling stories from the Downs
AS THE first settlement in Queensland after Brisbane, not only does Warwick and the Southern Downs have an illustrious history but also one filled with its fair share of murky and ghostly stories.
Using first-hand accounts and historian gossip, the Warwick Daily News has compiled a comprehensive ghost-hunting guide for the Southern Downs:
Letta Me Out Doll
THE 200-year-old haunted doll is described by some as the "doll from hell."
Owned by Warwick man Kerry Walton, the wooden, child-sized doll has been in his possession for about 40 years after he stumbled across it underneath a haunted house in Wagga Wagga.
The first sign of the doll's paranormal powers was when his two children woke up screaming one night saying the doll was talking and moving its head.
Many people over the years have also said they have seen it move, and dogs continually try to attack him.
Scientists, who inspected the doll, said it is made from wood, with real human hair and also has some sort of brain.
Mr Walton believes the doll possesses the spirit of a drowned boy.
LONG believed to be a place of spiritual energy, ghost chasers have flocked to the Palmerin St pub for years.
In 2016, Toowoomba Ghost Chasers caught audio of entities whistling, talking and playing piano - despite the fact there is no piano at Criterion Hotel.
Former staff members claim to have seen and heard strange activity, and a figure downstairs she believed to be Mrs Allman, the original owner of the Criterion.
Mrs Allman built the hotel in 1917, before taking ill and dying suddenly in 1931.
Reports also include seeing a little girl with blonde hair.
Warwick Town Hall
ACCORDING to Warwick Town Crier Bob Townsend, the Hall's clock tower is home to its fair share of spooky tales.
Mr Townsend said just after the clock was first installed, a boy was employed as an official clock winder, but soon fell down the ladder making it impossible to work.
The crier said he can still hear the thump of the fall at times.
Ghost gate at Glengallan
JUST outside of Glengallan, at the aptly named Ghost Gate Rd, visitors may come across the marker of an owl - signifying an eerie linger of Southern Downs history.
The historic gate of Goomburra station reportedly used to open of its own account nightly, thanks to the haunting presence of a large white owl.
Another report by the Warwick Daily News in the 1940s revealed that one night, William Robey a fencer at Goomburra, after being thrown from his horse saw a phantom leaning above him.
To this day, locals say the owl's spirit remains.
Condamine Sports Bar
IN TIM the Yowie Man book's, Haunted and Mysterious Australia, he reveals the dark past Warwick's Condamine Sports Bar.
Back in the 1960s, when the bar was still called the Langham Hotel, a man hung himself in the back toilets of the Condamine Sports Club.
Ever since then, staff have complained of freezing temperatures and a ghost that stalks the upstairs corridors.
Maryvale Crown Hotel
WHILE there are several ghostly sightings around Maryvale, the most prominent is in the Maryvale Crown Hotel.
Previous pub owner Denis Reynolds Jr was "convinced" a girl met an untimely death in the cellar of the hotel, going so far as to have the space smudged.
The pub has even named a room after her - the Ghost Gum.
THE town's most horrific murder site has gained inevitable renown for being haunted in the past few years.
In 1945, a nurse who worked at the hospital fronted court for strangling her own infant son with string.
According to the Stanthorpe Haunted House References, nurses can still the baby's cry.
O'Mara's Hotel at Stanthorpe
EVEN the website of this popular pub, brags about its ghostly heritage.
It is believed, in 1906, a widow fall to her untimely death.
These days, her history, and presence lives on, in semi-regular visits to terrified patrons.
THIS one was scouted out by the Haunts of Brisbane page.
With a grisly history that includes the suicide of a Stanthorpe grazier, who upon hearing that his children wouldn't survive influenza, committed suicide.
According to patrons and former workers, the sound of disembodied voices calling them, the rattling of keys echoing through the building when the pubs closed and a watching presence.
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